It's not your imagination: Regional trails really are packed | KUOW News and Information

It's not your imagination: Regional trails really are packed

Oct 2, 2017

Our region is growing, and so is the use of hiking trails. If you’ve been to Rattlesnake Ledge near North Bend, then you already know that.


The hike to Rattlesnake Ledge is a short drive from the city. It’s uphill, and what a view!

Ralph Naess minds the trail at Seattle Public Utilities. He said it's so popular, it’s become a verb.

Naess: “Like, I’m going to Rattlesnake. Meaning I will hike up to the ledge.”

More than 200,000 people have “Rattlesnaked” so far this year, surpassing the total for all of 2016.

Naess: “It’s a wonderful trail and word of mouth has gotten out.”

Rattlesnake Ledge saw less than half this visitor count a decade ago. It’s one of the few trails where use is tracked.

Naess: “This is an indicator of the general, incredible increase of use everywhere: Mount Si, Little Si, Tiger Mountain. I mean, you can go up the Middle Fork to Mailbox Peak – you can go to any of those trail heads on a summer weekend day and they are packed.”

In Rattlesnake’s case, there’s trail damage. SPU tried to put together grants for about a quarter million dollar's worth of work, but the state hasn’t come through with its share.

For now, the trail gets only the most urgent repairs.